Fantasy Football Today

Running from the Raiders on Draft Day

By Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer

Darren McFadden will try and hold off Maurice Jones-Drew for the starting running back job this year. (USATSI)
Darren McFadden will try and hold off Maurice Jones-Drew for the starting running back job this year. (USATSI)

The Raiders don't have a lot of Fantasy options that excite you. I like Rod Streater with a late-round pick, but otherwise you can pass on most of their guys where they are expected to be drafted.

In going over their preseason outlooks, I still hope Latavius Murray gets a chance for legitimate playing time, but bringing back Darren McFadden and bringing in Maurice Jones-Drew will limit his chances. He's still someone to monitor though in case of injury.

As for Jones-Drew and McFadden, it should be interesting to see how this backfield takes shape. McFadden could open the season as the starter, but we know he's injury prone having missed 19 games over the past three years and never playing 16 games in a season in his career.

And Jones-Drew looked worn down last season with a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. He's down to 215 pounds heading into the offseason program, but his workload from 2009-11 (954 carries and 1,084 total touches), along with his injured foot in 2012, caught up to him.

We're expecting Jones-Drew to be the better Fantasy running back -- history has taught us not to trust McFadden -- but he's only a flex option at best even though he was No. 20 in Fantasy points last year. I would avoid Jones-Drew since he'll warrant a mid-round pick, and you can find better players with more upside. The same goes for McFadden unless he's one of your last picks.

On the plus side, the Raiders did well getting Fantasy production from their running backs last season. McFadden opened the year with three games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points and had four games total, and Rashad Jennings had five games with double digits in points. Jones-Drew, or McFadden, could potentially have nine games with double digits in Fantasy points, but I'll take the under.

In the passing game, the Raiders added Matt Schaub and James Jones, but neither should make much of an impact. Schaub is a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback at best, and Jones will be exposed leaving Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

As for Streater, he's entering his third season in the NFL, and hopefully that leads to a breakout campaign. He is trending in the right direction with increases in catches, yards and touchdowns from his rookie year to his second season, so hopefully the breakout comes now.

The addition of Schaub should help, and I'd draft Streater as a No. 4 receiver with a late-round pick. I rank the Raiders receivers as Streater, Jones and Denarius Moore, with the latter two not worth drafting in the majority of leagues.

 
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